GENDER STEREOTYPES: THE ROLE OF TEACHERS
Confidence, not ability, often determines whether a young girl
will consider herself "good" at math or whether a young
woman will decide to major in math or computer science in college.
In their thought-provoking Education Week essay titled "The Persistence
of Gender Myths in Math,"
Rosalind Chait Barnett and Caryl Rivers suggest that teachers have
a critical role to play in actively debunking persistent gender stereotypes
and encouraging girls and young women to pursue areas of strength.
They also encourage educators to examine their own practices to identify
the degree to which they are unwittingly contributing to these stereotypes.
In Oakland, California, a team of teachers, professional
men and women, and educators from the Chabot Space and Science Center
are actively engaged in encouraging girls and young women in math,
science, and technology. The Techbridge program provides hands-on
opportunities for girls in elementary school through high school to
explore these key areas and for teachers to participate in subject-specific
professional-development opportunities. Read the GLEF story about
this program, "Building a Bridge to Science and Technology"
For more information on Techbridge, you can also visit http://www.chabotspace.org/visit/programs/techbridge.asp.
RICH GET RICHER . . .
A new report from The Education Trust documents a growing
disparity in the level of state and local funding that goes to wealthy
and poor K-12 districts in the country. According to "Funding
Gap 2004," issued in October, the disparity is upward of $1,300
per student when the extra cost of educating low-income students is
factored into the equation. Looking at revenue figures for the 2001-02
school year (the last year for which data was available), the report
finds that in 25 of the 49 states studied, the districts in which
families experience the highest levels of poverty receive fewer resources
than those with the lowest numbers of households living in poverty.
The full copy of the report, which includes recommendations on how
states can close the funding gap, is available online at http://www2.edtrust.org/edtrust.
UNION HS LAUNCHES DIVERSITY CLASS
When incoming freshmen take the school's new mandatory diversity class
this year, they may find a curriculum that runs the gamut from former
presidents to rap stars.
VERMONT WOMEN'S FUND GIVES THIRD GRANT TO VI
The Tech Savvy Girls program gives girls technology skills, confidence
and experience that helps them succeed in this high-tech world. Overcoming
barriers that prevent women from pursuing technology is easier when
these girls can see role models, learn technology among their friends,
and have fun. This third year of support from the Vermont Women's
Fund allows us to expand the Tech Savvy Girls network to the college
level. The college girls in IT will teach and encourage high school
students; high school girls mentor middle school students, and adult
women in IT are role models for them all. Thank you, Vermont Women's
Fund! The Vermont Women's Fund is a grantmaking organization that
supports the advancement, self-sufficiency, and economic and social
equality of Vermont women and girls. We are a permanent endowment
with The Vermont Community Foundation, and encourage all women to
be philanthropists and to use their collective financial power to
help shape Vermont's future. May 2004
PUBLIC RADIO FEATURES CVUHS PEER TRAINERS
May 18, 2004, VPR's online edition ran this story: "CVU
High School Runs Pilot Program to Prevent Harassment."
LAW RELATING TO HARASSMENT IN SCHOOLS SIGNED BY GOVERNOR DOUGLAS
In the new law,
signed into effect April 13, 2004, the definition of harassment is
refined and examples are given of behavior that may be unlawful harassment.
The law defines actions and time frames schools must follow once they
receive actual notice of a harassment incident. The law extends protection
to students and students' family members, and speaks to the issue
of a person's "actual or perceived" status or membership
in a protected group (in other words, even if a target of harassment
is not "actually" a member of the protected category, the
law still applies if the person is harassed based on a perception
that he / she is a member of the protected group). Schools will have
to revise their harassment policies to align with the new laws. Click
here to read more.
DISTRICT SCHOOLS STRIVE
TO CREATE SAFER CLIMATE
Published November 18, 2003, Brattleboro Reformer
Shiela Linton expects her child will have a very different experience
in the Brattleboro school system than she did. Her 9-year-old daughter
is a student at the Oak Grove School. Linton, a black woman who graduated
from Brattleboro Union High School, said the climate in the school
system has improved from when she was a student. Click here
or on title above to read the article (PDF).
- VERMONT TEACHER DIVERSITY SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM
(FKA COMING HOME PROJECT)
As Vermontís population becomes more culturally diverse, it is important
that the teachers in our public schools reflect that diversity. The
Vermont Teacher Diversity Scholarship Program has been developed to
recruit and train talented teachers from diverse backgrounds. The VTDSP
is a loan cancellation program to support students from diverse racial
and ethnic backgrounds who wish to become teachers.
Through the project, successful candidates will study at one of the
partner institutions of higher education and complete all requirements
for a teaching license. They will apply for teaching positions in designated
target areas and, if hired, agree to teach for a minimum of one year.
Currently, target areas are Bennington, Brattleboro, Burlington, Montpelier,
Morrisville, the Northeast Kingdom, and Rutland. At present, there are
Scholars in the Bennington, Brattleboro, Burlington, and Montpelier
Scholars can receive $4,000 a year of loan forgiveness
for every year of teaching up to three years, for a total of $12,000.
The Vermont Teacher Diversity Scholarship Program consists
of partnerships between local colleges and school systems. It combines
a rigorous academic training, internship experience and mentoring
from established members of the teaching community.
For more information contact Phyl
Newbeck, (802-241-3379) Vermont Teacher Diversity Scholarship
Program Director, or visit the website.
Comments? Need more information on Equity programs?
Kathy Johnson, Director of Equity Initiatives
Phone (802) 828-0072; or
The Vermont Institutes, Alumni Hall, 45 College Street, Montpelier,
members can be reached via e-mail by using the following protocol: first
initial, then last name, followed by the symbol for "at" (@)
vermontinstitutes.org (no spaces).
January 31, 2005